Out of all the DC titles I’ve read, Batman with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is the book that could have come out without any continuity revamp. The only things I see that make it part of the New 52 fun are the costumes and the fact that the characters are younger (but given that Grayson and Bruce Wayne are in real time pushing 100 and 150 respectively, we’ll let that slide). Everything else Scott Snyder does is adding to, and not rewriting, the Batman mythos.
The villain’s name over this storyline is The Talon (something I somehow missed until the fourth issue), but the entire Court of Owls storyline seems to be a way to add background to the DC’s universe that make things like a Earth 2 Owlman make sense. This is admirable and perhaps futile given DC’s constantly erasing and rewriting its own history to no clear end.
Snyder’s work is not on the same level as what Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing, but there is at least a level of intrigue I haven’t seen in a mainstream title for a while. And there is genuine discovery as the Court of Owls is linked to Bruce Wayne’s past.
Whereas other creators rewrite characters and histories over at Marvel (and DC) simply because the weak editorial mandate allows them to, Snyder seems more careful. Though he may have straddling the line with the way he brings up secrets in Batman’s childhood (a common ploy amongst Batman’s writers), it hasn’t gotten too crazy or gratuitous in this story line.
Of course, a good start is by no means the sign of a good finish, as reading J. Michael Straczynski’s Spider-Man run from start to finish will tell you, but I’m hooked so far on the story and Capullo’s consistent strong work, which I’ve already written about. If you can afford it, this is a good DC title to read month to month rather than just waiting for the trade. Get the first four issues while you can.